NEW! Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Quarterly Report

Sustainability Semi-Annual Report Masthead

July 2017

Stay in Touch!

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Subscribe to the EnviroNews Listserv to send and receive emails on environmental topic:

  • grant opportunities,
  • workshops,
  • restoration activities,
  • volunteer programs,
  • trainings,
  • announcements,
  • news, and
  • events.

Upcoming Events

Ethnic Fest    July 29 - 30, 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Wright Park at 6501 South I Street, Tacoma, WA 98405. Since 1986 Ethnic Fest has grown to become the largest celebration of culture and community in Tacoma. Look for the Environmental Services booth to get a free reusable bag!

Proctor Arts Fest  Saturday, August 5 at 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM at North 26th & Proctor Streets in Tacoma, WA. The Proctor Arts Fest has been bringing arts, crafts and music to Tacoma's North End for 18 years. Look for the Environmental Services booth to get a free reusable bag!

Green Drinks with Citizens for a Healthy Bay Thursday, Aug 3rd, 6:00PM - 9:00 PM at Parkway Tavern 313 North I Street, Tacoma, WA 98403. Citizens for a Healthy Bay (CHB) is a Tacoma-based environmental group that focuses on cleaning up and protecting Commencement Bay.

McKinley Hill Street Fair  August 19th, 2017 10AM-5PM at 3500 McKinley Ave, Tacoma, WA 98404. Activities for everyone with Food Truck Alley, live music, free youth carnival, 1500 free stuffed backpacks, 75 vendors, live mural painting, huge chalk art zone, 4 beer gardens, and the Northwests finest business and craft vendors. Look for the Environmental Services booth to get a free reusable bag!

Don't Forget to BYOB!

Now that the Bring Your Own Bag ordinance is in effect, the City of Tacoma is giving away free reusable bags while supplies last. Click the link above to discover locations to pick up a free bag!

Ongoing Opportunities

Sustainable Tacoma Commission - 2nd Tuesday of each month, 3:30 - 5:30 PM at Tacoma Municipal Building, Room 243. Public welcome! 

BPTAG (Bicycle Pedestrian Technical Advisory Group) - 4th Monday of each month, 5:30 PM at Tacoma Municipal Building.

Tacoma Green Drinks - Every 1st Thursday, 6:00 PM, at different locations around town.

Additional Education and Involvement

Green Living Guide

An award-winning interactive map featuring many of Tacoma’s resources and efforts towards more sustainable living.

Video Features

EnviroHouse How-To's

This series of short how-to videos will continue through 2017. Check out our first four here.


This series takes you behind the scenes to find out where Tacoma's waste goes

Urban Green

Full Episode Archive

Tacoma Report Eco Videos

Explore the City of Tacoma's archive of videos on environmental topics.


Tacoma’s Green Living Guide is an interactive story map of Tacoma that highlights 7 categories related to sustainability and the environment. Visit the interactive map to learn about sustainability resources related to green building, energy & recycling.

Did you know there are over 35 EnergyStar or LEED-certified buildings in Tacoma? For example, the City’s Police Headquarters on S Pine Street is a LEED Silver Certified building. Discover more, while also exploring solar panels and recycling opportunities.

Tacoma Police Department
EnviroHouse Logo

The City of Tacoma EnviroHouse continues to offer Tacoma-Pierce County residents numerous displays and resources to develop an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Overall this quarter, EnviroHouse staff greeted a total of 639 visitors, with another 100+ seen in the gardens. We would love to have You visit!

Tour groups included students from U.W.-Tacoma, Bellarmine Prep H.S., University of Puget Sound’s Recycle Crew, and several Dept. of Ecology Conservation Corps Youth Work Crews. Guided group tours of the EnviroHouse and grounds may be arranged by appointment; email or call (253) 573-2426.

Fall workshops resume in September and will be online for registration (required) in early August at Many of the favorites will be repeated: composting, winter gardens, pruning, rain barrels, ductless and whole house heat pumps, and mason bees among others. New sessions this fall will offer green interior design, houseplant choices and care, solutions for common garden problems, DIY energy audits/solutions and simple household repairs.

Did You Know? EnviroHouse staff, workshop instructors and the City’s Media Dept. have been producing YouTube How-To demonstrations videos on a variety of topics. Search on YouTube for the EnviroHouse HowTo Playlist to get tips on gardening, herbs, drip irrigation, worm bin composting, mason bees and more. This is an ongoing project so be sure to check back for new videos.

The EnviroHouse is located at the Tacoma Recovery and Transfer Center (former landfill), 3510 S. Mullen St., Tacoma 98409 (off Center St.). Open hours are: Wed.-Fri. 10-3; Sat.-Sun. 11-5. Directions are online:


As of July 12, Tacoma retailers are no longer giving out thin plastic checkout bags, and are charging a minimum 5 cent fee for paper and reusable bags. This change came after a year of planning, outreach, and engagement with shoppers and Tacoma businesses. So far, the response from the community has been largely positive. City staff continue to help businesses understand how the law impact them, for example clarifying that food take-out bags are not affected by the law and neither are businesses located outside the city limits.

Over the past few weeks, staff and community volunteers conducted outreach at grocery stores and community events, where they gave away free reusable bags and resources to help shoppers tackle the issue of forgetting to bring their bags to the store. The City will continue to give away free bags this summer at the Tacoma Municipal Building’s TacomaFIRST 311 Center, at community events, and through several partner organizations. We are grateful to our many volunteers, partners and hardworking colleagues who have helped bring this significant and positive change to Tacoma.

For more information about where to get free bags, the new Bag Share program, and more, please visit

Tabling Jaclyn

Climate Change

The Washington Regional Coastal Resilience Project

Tacoma is one of two communities selected to receive a NOAA grant to participate in the Washington Regional Coastal Resilience Project (WCRP). The WCRP is a three-year effort to address coastal hazards by coordinating our state investment in coastal management. A diverse team of partners, collectively over three years, will improve the communication of risk associated with sea level rise and associated coastal impacts in Washington State. The project will motivate communities to plan and prepare

A presentation about the project was given to The Port of Tacoma in the Spring by the Assistant Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability, Jim Parvey, and representatives from the UW Climate Impacts Group, Washington Sea Grant and the City’s Planning Department. The Port Commissioners expressed strong interest and a desire to participate in the grant activities and utilize its outcomes. A mid-July workshop focused on steep slopes, landslides and other hazardous areas of concern in the City that may be impacted by sea level rise.

Climate Conservation
11th Sus conference

Save the Date for next year's Sustainability Expo:  

April 14, 2018 !


Healthy Homes

Our program team recently concluded sustainability outreach in the Lincoln District, visiting 551 homes and having conversations with 265 families since March. By visiting homes and six local community groups, staff members shared eco-friendly, cost-saving resources available to households as well as City plans to revitalize the Lincoln neighborhood.

Now that construction of the Lincoln District streetscape is under way, staff members have pivoted to prepare for the next program neighborhood. The program will spend the weeks ahead engaging stakeholders, reviewing available information, and building partnerships in South Tacoma. Outreach will start in the new neighborhood in October 2017.

Get involved in local sustainability by emailing

EnviroChallenger Logo


The EnviroChallengers were part of a few gatherings including: Earth Day School events, Festival of Sails, and Taste of Tacoma. Keep and eye out for the EnviroChallengers at more events this summer!

Lessons & School Activities:

The EnviroChallengers delivered 200 classroom lessons this Spring and established homeschooling connections.                            

High School Enviro Club meetings takes place every other Wednesday. EnviroChallengers also meet with principals, teachers, and stakeholders to promote the program and encourage collaboration with City of Tacoma's Environmental Service Department.

Urban Green Banner

Urban Green - Episode 19

In this edition of Urban Green we visit Tacoma's Broadway Farmers Market. Chef Hudson Slater from Tacoma Yacht Club cooks Farmers Market Primavera. We visit rePLY Furniture's Steve Lawler to discuss his earth-friendly furniture made from discarded plywood scraps. Learn about Tacoma's new shopping bag ordinance, how to make a slug trap and in EnviroHouse How-To we'll show you how to grow indoor herbs.